When you ask people about planning for the future, some will focus on the next few months or couple of years, but most do not think about long-term plans other than retirement. Often, people do not even plan well for their immediate future in the event of a disaster or unexpected family loss. As a result, many families and businesses can be devastated when a family member or key business partner passes away unexpectedly, or dies without clear direction for how to divide their estate. Not having a Will or other proper estate planning documents can leave families, businesses and other beneficiaries in a difficult situation as they navigate the complex process of determining asset distribution and inheritance claims. Today's blog post will focus on the benefits of a Will or Trust for individuals and families, and a future blog post will emphasize the importance of Wills and Trusts for company owners or business partners.
For individuals and families, establishing a Will or Trust for the future offers several important benefits, both immediate and long-term. First, creating a Will provides clear directions for how an estate should be divided among family members, other beneficiaries or charitable organizations. Heirlooms and family assets such as real estate, cars, jewelry, art, and other key valuables are often a source of division and contention among family members when a Will is not in place to direct the distribution of assets. The proactive step of creating a Will significantly reduces both disagreements among relatives and legal challenges over the distribution of the assets of the estate after the death of a loved one.
Wills can also name legal guardians for surviving children and help dictate burial arrangements to spare family members from last-minute decisions while grieving. Without a Will to specify funeral and memorial arrangements, survivors often experience additional grief and stress in selecting a burial site and handling funeral costs. Additionally, individuals with large estates may also choose to create a Trust in conjunction with a Will to offer asset distribution to family members, charitable organizations or other beneficiaries before death. Trusts can help provide tax savings to beneficiaries in ways Wills cannot, and can help distribute assets to such groups as charitable organizations, religious institutions, hospitals, or an alma mater.
Proper estate planning gives individuals and families valuable peace of mind knowing that their assets will be secure and protected in the event of death. Christiansen Law Firm helps individuals draft Wills and Trusts that help protect family interests while also decreasing future family burdens and stress. Christiansen Law Firm's attorneys will review all facets of your estate and work with you to create the legal documentation that best protects your estate and your family.
For more information on how Christiansen Law Firm can help you or your family with estate planning, please contact their Will and Trust attorneys today to begin this important step. Christiansen Law Firm provides Will and Trust services in the greater Houston and San Antonio areas and offers free consultations during regular business hours or by appointment.